Never has this been more true than this week at 8 Lives.
On Monday afternoon we were all home, nine residents going about their usual Monday chores and Luci working in the office with me. Then a message pinged through. One of our adopters had seen a very young kitten being given away free on a social media site and had rushed to get her before she came to any harm … and now needed a rescue space for her. We agreed to take her almost without thinking about it … after all … one tiny kitten can’t cause that much disruption can she?
On Monday evening Hanne arrived. She looked so tiny we were worried initially that she was too young to even be eating solid food. However, she quickly polished off a bowl of wet food, tucked into the dry and then moved on to some chicken.
For once we did have a bedroom available that she could go in, but she’s way too small to be put in a bedroom on her own. So we cleared everything off the dining table and set up our largest dog crate on there. She has food and water, litter tray, blanket, toys and a hammock in there and can watch all the comings and goings in safety. That’s her refuge for when I’m out or busy. She doesn’t like it much and shouts in a high pitched kitten voice that carries through the entire house …. and down to the bottom of the garden.
When I’m home and have time to sit down she comes into the lounge to play. She realises I’m coming to pick her up and take her into the lounge and greets me with a huge purr. The aunties of the house, on the other hand, realise what I’m about to do and immediately vacate the lounge and set up camp on my bed. Jerry is often caught napping on the sofa and wakes to find her using his tummy as a trampoline.
We don’t want to risk losing her, so she’s confined to the lounge and the door is closed. There’s a cat flap in the door to go through to the kitchen, but as the door is rarely ever closed, there is a reluctance on the part of some of the family to make use of the flap. There’s also a cat flap from the garden into the lounge. Her play times largely seem to consist of me getting up to let cats into and out of the lounge from the kitchen, and let out cats who have unsuspectingly used the cat flap to come into the lounge from the garden and found themselves in the middle of play group. Of course we can no longer have the door open that leads from lounge to garden. All gettings up to open doors are preceded by having to peel Jerry off my lap before I can move … he’s still working on making up for the cuddles he missed during years of living rough.
We were a little anxious about Jerry at first. Although he’s sadly probably been the cause of dozens of kittens in his street life years, he’s not used to little ones running around his ankles like the other residents are. He’s been surprisingly tolerant, despite the number of times his snuggles are disturbed.
As ever, when it comes to kittens, it’s young Rowan who is the hero of the day. He’s always had a flair for childcare and is the only one that actively seeks Hanne out. He plays with her and washes her. He also teaches her stuff and I fear that by the end of the weekend he’ll have taught her to use the cat flap … then we’ll have to lock both cat flaps in the lounge to “in only” and peel Jerry off laps to stand up and open the doors every time anyone wants to leave the room.